Three Tears On Bloodstained Flesh (2017)

Starring Bill Gobin, Jim Dougherty, Kayla Crance

Directed by Jakob Bilinski

A tribute piece to any artist or filmmaker is something that should not be taken lightly, especially if you want said name attached to your work, but if you want to create something that could be classified as having fit into a classified genre, that’s a whole other ball of wax. In the case of Jakob Bilinski’s homage to the ultra-creepy Italian chillers of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s (Giallo for those keeping score), Three Tears On Bloodstained Flesh is one of those films that acts as a nice representation of what made that particular machine tick back in the day – step inside and we’ll cut this one up.

Bill Gobin stars in this dark presentation as Dominic, a man who definitely has his share of downfalls and demons – generally an unlikable character (his performance is stellar), and his agenda is to right the multiple wrongs he’s committed in his lifetime…good luck with that. His niece has recently passed away, and he’s sidelining his grief to act as somewhat of a pseudo-savior to the family and give her the burial she deserves. The destination is a small town, and his company is his daughter, Lexie – a girl who much like her father, has her share of issues (kind understatement). As the two arrive in the small town for the interment, trouble awaits in the local sheriff – his name is Rex Drisco (Dougherty), and let me tell you, despicable, smarmy and abhorrent are the only remotely kind things I can say about this man behind the badge. Dougherty’s performance alone as the loathsome lawman should garner him an award at some point, as he manages to emit such disdain for his character – it’s literally hanging off of him like a cloak.

As the film moves along, it becomes apparent that Dominic isn’t content with the cause of his niece’s death, and he begins to conduct his own investigation into the town’s inner workings – we’re talking cults, a masked murderer and other little nuggets of supernatural goodness that need to be checked out. The tension that already existed between Dominic and Rex in the past spikes completely off of the meter, and the complications begin to grow even thicker. Bilinski uses a generously blended concoction of light, darkness and vivid colors to spring the story to life, and aside from a moderately lengthy runtime (140 minutes), the movie does progress along nicely with few hang-up spots. Plot twists and turns are injected to make you scratch your skull, and ultimately leave you with your jaw wide open and catching flies. Kudos to Bilinski for creating something that’s deserving of some approbation – if you dug any of the Giallo works back in the good old days, then you’ll definitely want to check this one out for yourself.

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Matt Boiselle

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